Roasted Sweet Onion Salad Dressing and Musings about Weetabix and Cobb Salad

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Do you get the dreaded “midnight munchies?”

Me, too.

Here’s a photo.

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OK. Maybe that isn’t me.

But, alas, my refrigerator raids seldom get more inventive than a bowl of Weetabix and just enough cold milk to keep the Weetabix crispy. I’ve had many a good night’s sleep after a bowl (or two) of Weetabix. (Weetabix cereal, if you are unfamiliar with it, originated in Britain. I first ran into it on a breakfast buffet at the Mara Serena Lodge in Kenya. I haven’t looked back. It is that good. Happily, a Canadian-manufactured version of the cereal, which boasts 365 whole grain kernels in every biscuit,  is available at Trader Joe’s. Give it a try.) But I digress.

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Continuing on the subject of late-night refrigerator raids, the wonderful (and now ubiquitous) cobb salad was born from a late-night raid on the refrigerator.

As the story goes, Hollywood’s Brown Derby Restaurant owner, Bob Cobb, invented the cobb salad in one such refrigerator raid in 1937. The salad became so popular that Hollywood’s A List regularly dispatched their chauffeurs to pick up orders of the salad.

The rest is history, as they say, with untold numbers (millions?) of cobb salads being served on dinner tables (and restaurant tables) around the world.

I took some liberties with my cobb salad, substituting feta (which I had) for blue cheese and Morningstar “bacon” for the traditional chopped bacon, but you can let your creative side soar and make a cobb salad with whatever ingredients you enjoy. I used hard-boiled eggs, iceberg lettuce, kalamata olives, avocado chunks, chickpeas, green onions, and red bell peppers to complement the  feta cheese and Morningstar “bacon” in my salad.

When it came time to add the salad dressing, I veered from the traditional and prepared a roasted sweet onion dressing. The dressing was tossed with the lettuce before adding the various garnishes to the salad. The dressing recipe originally appeared in Food and Wine Magazine. (See the link at the bottom of this post.)

As a bonus, your kitchen will smell like roasting onions as you prepare the salad dressing.

Here is the recipe for the salad dressing.

Recipe: Roasted Onion Salad Dressing

6 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 large Vidalia onions (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and quartered
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil (plus more for brushing)
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Roast garlic cloves (unpeeled and wrapped in aluminum foil)  and the quartered onions (brushed with oil) in a 425 degree F. oven for one hour. The onions should take on a light char and be soft when they are finished cooking. Cool.

Squeeze the roasted garlic into a blender. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Leaving the blender on, gradually add the oil to the puree until it is totally incorporated into the mixture. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Here is the link to the original recipe for Southern Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing from Food and Wine Magazine:

Food and Wine Southern Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing

Cook’s Notes: This recipe makes a lot of dressing. I’m thinking that it would be great on coleslaw.


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